The Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting program, put out by Portland State University, has won a lot of accolades.
Among this program's potential benefits:
- Its cursive characters are almost identical to its print characters (which, in turn, are quite similar to the traditional "ball-and-stick" characters). There are some very minor variations between the print and cursive characters: cursive adds some strokes to join the letters, but the letters' shapes, and the pen or pencil strokes required to form them are identical in 25 out of 26 lower-case letters (the letter "k" changes), and in 25 out of 26 capitals.
- Both of these factors together mean that the transition from print to script is easy-and once a student learns the cursive style, s/he is less likely to revert to printing.
- At least one national writing contest was won recently by a student who used the italic method. Translated: the text looks good. Many people say it reminds them of simple calligraphy.
Among its potential weaknesses:
- Italic handwriting is completely non-"standard." There are no school materials of which we are aware that use the italic method as the basis for student practice sheets. A child who studies the italic handwriting method will have to overcome the difficulties inherent in using workbooks that assume and model a very different writing style.
- Children who study italic will be unfamiliar with "normal" cursive handwriting and may be at a disadvantage when asked or required to read materials written by someone who uses the other form.
- Though we have found nothing unScriptural or antiChristian in the texts, in the upper elementary grades some of the writing assignments become mildly politically correct when they deal with "hot" issues of the day like environmentalism.